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Author Topic: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?  (Read 1387 times)

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Offline Santo

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1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« on: May 24, 2021, 04:36:54 PM »
I have a 1 inch thick Corderite 16" round stone. Thinking of upgrading to a pizza steel.

I have seen thicknesses of 3/16, 3/8, 1/2", etc. What is the difference between the 1" stone vs the steels of varying thickness? Is the 3/16 good or must you step up the thickness?

If i plan to make multiple pizzas, i just have to wait between bakes if i am using a thinner steel? About how long would you have to wait?

As well is a 1 inch stone comparable to any of these steels or is it just child's play in comparison?

Thanks for your advice.

Offline jkb

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2021, 04:47:34 PM »
Stick with the cordierite.
John

Offline Santo

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2021, 06:34:16 PM »
Stick with the cordierite.

Ok i respect that, why do you say this? Thanks

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2021, 07:03:21 PM »
Get a steel and compare for yourself. I've used many stones but prefer the steel. I went with 3/8" and it allows multiple bakes without severe heat loss. The steel heats up faster than my thick Fibrament stone.

Offline jkb

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2021, 07:20:07 PM »
Ok i respect that, why do you say this? Thanks

You posted in the NY thread.
John

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Offline Santo

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 07:29:52 PM »
You posted in the NY thread.

So what properties of ny pizza are produced better by the stone vs steel? How does steel produce a product that is not like ny?

I'm from ny. Would appreciate your two cents

Offline jkb

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2021, 07:34:30 PM »
So what properties of ny pizza are produced better by the stone vs steel? How does steel produce a product that is not like ny?

I'm from ny. Would appreciate your two cents

Steel will char the crust.  Great pizza, but not the even brown of classic NY.
John

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 07:39:53 PM »
Untrue. Not sure why you keep insisting that it can't do NY.

Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2021, 07:43:58 PM »
Steels hold more heat and release it to the dough faster. Because of their conductivity, they also reheat more quickly between bakes. If you are looking for greater oven spring and char, then steel is the way to go. 3/8" thickness is more than adequate for most home baking scenarios. I have a 3/8" Dough-Joe steel and it's excellent. Keep your cordierite stone and use both to allow yourself to move the pizza from one surface to another.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 07:50:17 PM by TurkeyOnRye »

Offline jkb

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2021, 07:48:23 PM »
I'm done.  Carry on.
John

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Offline Santo

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 08:20:43 PM »
Steels hold more heat and release it to the dough faster. Because of their conductivity, they also reheat more quickly between bakes. If you are looking for greater oven spring and char, then steel is the way to go. 3/8" thickness is more than adequate for most home baking scenarios. I have a 3/8" Dough-Joe steel and it's excellent. Keep your cordierite stone and use both to allow yourself to move the pizza from one surface to another.

Sounds smart . Can you explain exactly what you mean by utilizing both stone and steel? As well would you use the stone perhaps on a rack above the steel so it radiates good top heat?

Offline billg

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2021, 08:41:31 PM »
They both work great!  Just have to learn to use them correctly. 

Offline Santo

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2021, 09:49:05 PM »
I'm done.  Carry on.

I'm doing a 2 day cold ferment with king arthur bread flour and 64% hydration. About 8 oz sauce, some parm dusting, and about 8 oz whole milk low moisture galbani mozz.

Baking the pizza takes about 6-8 minutes. In the past i have had trouble getting good color on the top of the pizza.

Where do you prefer to place the stone in your oven? Top, middle or bottom rack position?  Do you go at max temperature? Thanks. I want to stick with the stone as well. But Ive heard great things about steel.

Offline Swamp Yankee

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2021, 07:32:34 AM »
Another alternative is cast iron. Lodge makes a 15” flat pizza pan that I’ve been using lately - it runs about $40. It gives a great crispy texture to the bottom pretty quickly. That’s something I struggled with on ceramics. They’d do it, eventually... but it took so long.
Multiple pies would need a little more recovery time than a 1/2” steel would, I imagine, but it heats up pretty quickly under the broiler.
The only thing I dislike about the Lodge is the raised handles... they get in the way. I’m thinking of grinding them off. ..or at least one of them.

Offline Santo

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2021, 08:00:41 AM »
Another alternative is cast iron. Lodge makes a 15” flat pizza pan that I’ve been using lately - it runs about $40. It gives a great crispy texture to the bottom pretty quickly. That’s something I struggled with on ceramics. They’d do it, eventually... but it took so long.
Multiple pies would need a little more recovery time than a 1/2” steel would, I imagine, but it heats up pretty quickly under the broiler.
The only thing I dislike about the Lodge is the raised handles... they get in the way. I’m thinking of grinding them off. ..or at least one of them.

That's interesting. What's your bake look like then? I'm assuming you build the pizza in the cold pan and then put it in a max temp oven? Please let me know. Thanks. Do you have a link for this pan?

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Offline scott r

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2021, 08:17:51 AM »

Baking the pizza takes about 6-8 minutes. In the past i have had trouble getting good color on the top of the pizza.

Santo, switching from a stone to a steel would typically get you more browning on the bottom of the pizza, not the top.   I personally like a steel and the extra power it gives me on the bottom and the ability to make a faster pizza in some slow home ovens, but it sounds like in your situation you might just want to try some other tricks to get a more even bake without going for a steel. 

The cheapest and easiest one would be to do exactly what you are doing now, but turn on your broiler part way into your bake.  Another cheap and easy solution is to slip a pizza screen under the crust toward the end of your bake.  The screen lifting it up off the stone will keep the bottom from getting too brown, and allow the top to get more color.

Good luck!

Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2021, 08:39:31 AM »
Sounds smart . Can you explain exactly what you mean by utilizing both stone and steel? As well would you use the stone perhaps on a rack above the steel so it radiates good top heat?

Some people like to use one on the very bottom rack and one on the very top rack, or some variation. Just depends on your oven and what you're going for. I like to bake my pizza on the steel on the bottom rack for a few minutes and then move it to the stone on the top rack. Baking on the steel on the bottom rack allows me to get oven spring and some bottom char. Moving it to the stone on the top rack keeps the bottom from getting too dark and allows me to use the broiler to darken the top, if desired.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 08:43:12 AM by TurkeyOnRye »

Offline texmex

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2021, 09:04:48 AM »
Describe your oven setup. Is the broiler up top within the oven, or in a lower drawer? 
Decent configuration for home ovens can be found.
I used a cast iron just for a heat sink and rested my stone atop it. Then had another stone and foil barrier above that to trap heat in a confined area.  My broiler is separate from the main oven, so I used to slide the pies in there for some top browning.
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Offline Santo

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2021, 09:52:36 AM »
Describe your oven setup. Is the broiler up top within the oven, or in a lower drawer? 
Decent configuration for home ovens can be found.
I used a cast iron just for a heat sink and rested my stone atop it. Then had another stone and foil barrier above that to trap heat in a confined area.  My broiler is separate from the main oven, so I used to slide the pies in there for some top browning.


Hey. I have a GE Adora oven. It goes max 550 with bake or roast convection.

The oven has a large burner (main heating element) below the pan at the bottom. The convection fan circulates the heat created from the bottom burner. The top burner is used in Broil mode.

A cast iron for a heat sink - you mean like a normal cast iron pan for the stovetop? I'm trying to imagine it. Did you turn it upside down and rest your stone on top of the bottom of the pan?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 10:58:44 AM by Santo »

Offline Santo

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Re: 1 inch stone vs pizza steels of varying thickness?
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2021, 11:00:58 AM »
Santo, switching from a stone to a steel would typically get you more browning on the bottom of the pizza, not the top.   I personally like a steel and the extra power it gives me on the bottom and the ability to make a faster pizza in some slow home ovens, but it sounds like in your situation you might just want to try some other tricks to get a more even bake without going for a steel. 

The cheapest and easiest one would be to do exactly what you are doing now, but turn on your broiler part way into your bake.  Another cheap and easy solution is to slip a pizza screen under the crust toward the end of your bake.  The screen lifting it up off the stone will keep the bottom from getting too brown, and allow the top to get more color.

Good luck!

Fantastic advice thank you so much. Heres possibly a funny question. If the pizza is on the bottom rack on the stone, would turning the top broiler on high actually achieve the desired effect all the way from the top? Its a standard sized oven and the broiler is pretty strong but since the pizza would be on the stone on bottom rack, would the top broiler be effective from that height? I have a screen and have considered taking the pizza off the stone and then bringing it to a higher oven position but I really need that bottom to be sufficiently brown and crisp, and i don't want to add too much cooking time and dry out my pizza, yielding something that is tough or crunchy and dry, as opposed to supple and crisp but not overly crunchy. I'm working with a 64" hydration dough by the way. Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 11:04:13 AM by Santo »

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